Monday, March 12, 2018

A Time Out

Happy Monday, everyone!  I hope you have all been well, and that you had a good weekend. 

I'm writing today to say that I need a time out from blogging for a while.  My life has gotten pretty busy lately.  I've been working on some new designs that are large and complicated, and I have a deadline for them even, so they're taking top priority.  But I also have just started my indoor seed starting for my garden, I've started a weight loss journey (aka a diet) and exercising more, and I've been trying to spend more time with my husband.  That leaves me with less time to do everything else in my life, including blogging.  As much as I enjoy working on this blog, it's not a top priority right now.

I can't say when I'll be back, but I do promise I'll be back sometime.  Once life settles down a little, or I manage to find an extra hour in the day, I'll start posting again :)  See you all then!

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Life is Sweet Wall Hanging

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  I don't have a What's Up Wednesday this week because, well, life is too busy for me to sit and write about it.  I will however run through some good things that have happened:

  • My husband's job is secure!
  • My first snowdrop opened yesterday!
  • I got an email from Annie's asking for more patterns!

That last one is why I'm so busy.  I need to get some more patterns done to send to Annie's!  That's a good kind of busy though if you ask me.

Anyway, as part of that, I finally got off  my butt and finished my summery watermelon wall hanging!
Life Is Sweet Wall Hanging Pattern, $4 on Etsy
Hopefully you'll be seeing more patterns from me lately.  I'm so ready to get back to a normal life after all the craziness this year! 

Have a great rest of the day, everyone!

Friday, February 23, 2018

Free Friday: Simple Earring Holder

Happy Friday, everyone!  Did you have a good week?  Mine was pretty messy.  We got the water issue taken care of at my mom's house, but I still haven't found my wedding ring :(  I'm sad, but I'm trying not to let it consume me.  I have some charming (ok, not really) obsessive qualities about me, so as you can imagine, that's a very hard feat.  I made a very long and comprehensive list of places to thoroughly check, and once I'm done looking in every single place on the list, then I'll start thinking about getting a new ring. 

But enough about depressing subjects.  This week, I got a comment on my blog from someone who said they'd like to see some earring holder patterns.  In case you weren't aware, I do have a very lovely earring holder pattern up in my Etsy shop.  It's one of my best sellers!

Posy Earring Holder pattern, $4 on Etsy
However, I realize it's a fairly complicated pattern and not everyone wants to do one that fancy.  I ended up giving that earring holder to my Mother-in-law for Christmas the year before last.  She loves it!  I, on the other hand, have a very simple earring holder for myself.  This comes from a terrible disease I have called Lazy-itus.  Yes, that's right friends, I have the lazies.

Simple Earring Holder

Skill Level:



  • Wooden frame
  • Plastic Canvas
  • Hot glue


  1. If your frame came with glass and a backing, remove those.  
  2. Carefully cut plastic canvas so that it sits inside the lip on the backside of the frame, but isn't too small to fall through.
  3. Lay the plastic canvas inside the frame.  Using the hot glue gun, apply a thick layer of hot glue on top of the plastic canvas.  Use the nose of the got glue gun, or a wooden skewer, to smear the glue around, making sure it sinks into the holes in the plastic canvas and up the sides of the frame lip.  Use lots of glue.  Go over it twice if you need to.  The point is to create a thick layer that is attached to the wood that will hold the plastic canvas in.  
Here's a picture of the back side of my earring holder to give you an idea.

And that's it!  You can prop this up on a dresser, or attach a wire to hang on a nail.  I just hang mine using the frame lip, though that's not very stable.  Again, I have the lazies.

Well, I hope you enjoyed my simple little pattern today!  Have a wonderful weekend!

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

My Crazy Week

Hey guys.  Happy Tuesday.  I wanted to let you know that I'm not sure if I'll be around this week to post anything interesting.  It's already shaping up to be a crazy week, and will probably only get worse.  For one thing, the plumbing in my mom's house (which hubs and I own and care for) has gone all wonky and it looks like we're going to need to replace the main sewer pipe :(  Big hassle and lots of money, but it needs done.

Second, I lost my wedding ring :( :( :(  I've been tearing up the house since last night, but I just can't find it.  I fear I may have lost it at our local mall, in which case I don't think I'll ever see it again.  I'm so sad and ashamed, especially since we went to all the work to get the new sapphire put in just two months ago.  I'm going to do some seriously deep cleaning in the hope that I'll find it in some crack in the floor or a dusty corner, or maybe under the fridge.  Wish me luck.

Hopefully I'll be able to get some work done on my designs soon, but I can't promise anything this week.  I hope you're all having a good week so far, or at least a better one than me!

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  Actually, happy Valentine's day!  I hope you have a wonderful love filled day :)  My hubs and I don't have anything special planned for today; we kind of didn't get around to making reservations for any fancy restaurants or anything like that, and we ended up exchanging gifts last weekend.  It was nice and quiet, which is how I like my life anyway.

Well, this week's adventure is entirely sewing related!  And I guess technically sewing machine repair related.  So hold onto your hats, it's a fun story.

Last week I was feeling kind of down and sad.  I don't want to say I was depressed exactly because it was a short lived feeling; I was very blue for about a week.  Everyone has their comfort habits when they're sad.  Some people eat junk food, some people play video games, some people shop.  Well, last week what I did was do lots of looking at vintage sewing machines for sale online.  I don't know why I did it exactly.  I have four sewing machines as it is.  I guess in the back of my mind, I have this image of a really cool life I could be living, buying old sewing machines and fixing them up and finding them new homes.  It's not a life I want to live exactly, but it's a place I like to go when real life is getting too stressful.  I also have an fantasy life in my head where I'm a farmer, lol, and one where I'm a perfect 1950s housewife.

Anyway, so I was surfing around on Craigslist and Shopgoodwill and ebay for cool old machines.  I've had my eye on a singer 500A Rocketeer for a long time, and I was really hoping I'd be able to find one for a reasonable price.  Here's what they look like:

How retro cool is that baby?  Not only is it super cool looking, but it's also one of the few all metal sewing machines that do fancy stitches.  Sometimes I fear that my new Pfaff electronic machine won't last very many years because it's got nylon gears and electronic controls.  Even though it's my most expensive machine ($800), it's also the one that's most likely to die first.  So I'm really drawn to a vintage machine that does fancy stitches mechanically, in a way that's unlikely to break down just because it's old.

Well, I didn't find a 500A for sale anywhere, but what I did find was this.

In an add on Facebook marketplace, I saw this picture and immediately recognized it as a Singer 401A!  The 500A and the 401A are basically the same machine, only with different styling.  I've heard some people online say that the 401A is a better machine because it has fewer weak points that can break.  The seller was asking $110 for the machine and cabinet, and it came with all the original attachments.  Hmm...

I had to think about that.  The asking price was decent, but I didn't need a new cabinet.  I thought about asking for just the machine, but then I had a thought.  My mom was using the world's ricketiest table for her sewing machine, so I decided I could give her the cabinet and keep the machine for myself.

It was an hour's drive out to the seller, and they live in a very rural out of the way place.  Hubby and I had a fun country drive at any rate.  I was dubious when I saw the machine in person, though.  It was frozen up completely, needle wouldn't move at all, everything was totally gunked up.  On top of that, the seller wouldn't budge on price.  Hmmm...  When the seller's husband (I think) offered $100, I decided to take it.  If nothing else, it would be a nice cabinet for my mom and a fun project for me to play with.  So we chucked it into the back of our SUV and drove home.

I got to work on the cabinet right away.  I used some Howard's Restor-A-Finish on the whole thing to cover up the numerous scratches, and then used some of Howard's Feed-n-Wax to seal it.  Here's a picture of the desk half way through working on it.  Finished side on the left, unworked side on the right.

Once that was done, I got to work on the sewing machine.  Ugh!  What a disgusting  mess!

The original owner was clearly a smoker.  The whole thing was covered in nicotine.

I tipped it over and the feet started disintegrating right away.

It has no drip pan to cover the bottom, which might explain why I found several buttons in the motor compartment.

It also looked like she would frequently douse the whole thing in oil, even the gears, which would explain why there was a severely tacky varnish on everything. (Pro tip, don't use oil on gears, only use grease.)

That last picture, that's the problem.  Those gears are supposed to be silver!  This was where the machine was stuck, and after several hours of lubing it up and working it back and forth and not getting anywhere, I gave up and got my heat gun.  It took about five minutes of high heat on these gears to loosen that gunk, and then I had to turn the hand wheel with as much force as I could to get it to start to loosen.  My hand literally hurt the next day.  But I got it loose and it ran smoothly!  This is why I like metal gears, you can beat the crap out of them and you don't have to worry about them breaking.

So after that, I plugged it in to see if it would run.  Well, it did, but it was very slow.  And after about 30 seconds, it began to smoke :(  Not good.  I figured it probably had some oil in the motor.  I tried to get the motor loose, but would you believe that it was stuck too?  Ugh!

By now it was about 5 PM and I needed to get dinner made for when hubby came home, so I decided to put the project aside for the night.  I shot off some questions to the Vintage Singer Yahoo group (a  great group of people, by the way) and put it away.

The next day I got my heat gun again, took off the hand wheel (because the gear on that is not metal), and heated the worm gear of the motor to see if that would loosen it enough to get it to drop down.  I didn't want to heat it too much because there are wires fairly close by and I certainly didn't want to melt anything.  Luckily, it only needed a little heat before it started to move.  Yay!  I took the motor out and started opening it up, and saw this.

It's a little hard to see, and if you've never seen a small motor it might not mean much to you.  But what's happened is, someone poured oil into the motor and it's gunked up the carbon brushes a lot.  It looked like tar in there, yuck!  My fingers are still black from cleaning all of the gunk out :(  I got it all cleaned up though and put it all back together, and she just purrs now!  What a beautiful machine.

I also spent some time yesterday cleaning her up.  I use Mr. Metal cleaner, which is an ammonia cleaner with some kind of polish in it.  I wouldn't use this on the old black sewing machines because they have a shellac coating, but this machine is enamel and I knew from experience that it would be just fine.

Look at that lovely girl now!  I still have some work to do, mostly cleaning and tweaking the tension assembly, and I also need to get her some new feet and a bobbin winding tire, but otherwise she's good to go!  I don't know if I'll keep her exactly.  I still want a 500A because the styling is just so cool.  I'll probably keep my 401A until I can find a 500A, then compare them side by side, and sell the one I like less.

My hubby was concerned about me buying a new machine.  I mean, with four in the house already, why did I need another.  But last night I bought him up to look at it and show him how all the mechanical parts work.  He's an engineer, so he was just totally captivated.  The fact that you can open it up and visually see what makes the patterns is cool beyond words for people like us.  Now he understands why I wanted it, and thinks it's a cool find too.  Maybe someday I'll get him into the action :)

In other news, I've also been sewing!  I finished the strip tube quilt last week.  I don't have a picture of it finished, but here it as while I'm basting it.

It's very pretty!  I love the rustic colors.  It matches my decor super well, because I'm trying to go for kind of rustic country type thing.  Not exactly shabby chic, but similar.

I used up the last of my garden carrots in a delicious butternut squash soup.  Garden carrots are so different from store bought carrots.  You know how a garden tomato has so much more flavor than anything you can buy in a store?  Well, the same is true for garden carrots too.  They have a robustness, a depth to their flavor that's missing from store carrots.  Le sigh.  I guess I'll just have to do without until next season's crop.

The good new is that I still have lots of rutabagas, though.  They're my secret ingredient in stews because they add such a lovely sweetness.  It's amazing to me that Americans don't cook with them more often, considering how delicious they are and how easy they are to grow.

Well, I guess that's all for this week, everyone.  I hope your Valentine's day is a good one!  I'll finish this post with one more picture that I hope makes you smile today.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Tuesday Tip: Scissors Revisited

Happy Tuesday morning, everyone!  It's so beautiful here today, with lots of bright sunshine and wide open blue skies.  I love the room my computer is in; it's the only room in the house with an actual view out the windows.  Most of the windows in the house face the side of the neighbors' houses, which isn't exactly fun to look at :P  But this room has trees and sky and yard!  Which also means it's bright and cheer on a sunny day like today, yay!

If you follow my blog at all, you may remember that I once talked about my favorite scissors to use with plastic canvas.  Back then, I used a pair of iris scissors which are technically surgical scissors and are really good with turning tight corners and snipping close to the edge of things. 

However, over time I have found that they're not perfect.  There are a lot of things I don't like about iris scissors, the first being that the finger holes are very small and can be uncomfortable.  They also have a smooth edge so if you're cutting something harder, like ultra stiff plastic canvas, they tend to slip a lot.  The biggest problem I had with them, though, is the fact that they will eventually lose their edge.  This is true of all scissors, of course, but the problem with iris scissors is that they have a very high angled edge compared to other scissors.  I think this is to make them sharper and more razor like, which you would want with surgical scissors of course, but what it means for a crafter is that you can't easily sharpen them once they lose their edge.  I tried using a scissor sharpener but that actually just made them a lot more dull.  I also tried sharpening them with a metal file, but it was very hard to get the right angle, so I eventually gave up and ended up throwing them away.

I could have gone out to buy another pair of iris scissors.  They're not expensive, after all; most pharmacies have them for under $10.  However, I don't like the idea of buying something designed to be thrown away.  I try to create as little waste as possible in my life because I care about the environment, so I decided to do a little research and see if I could find a really good pair of scissors that would continue working for me for a long time.

I ended up with a very cool set of scissors!  I liked the first pair I bought so much that I bought multiple sizes for all of my crafting projects.

They're titanium non-stick micro-serrated scissors and they come in several sizes.  They also come in several brands.  I've seen three or four brands that are essentially the same scissor with a different name slapped on them (for instance, the bottom green pair is a different brand as the top two pairs, but they're the same style).  I see these all the time in quilt magazines and quilt shops.  DO NOT BUY THEM THERE.  They are outrageously expensive if you buy them that way!  I paid $25 for the tiny pain on the bottom, and only $25 for the other two pairs combined! 

If you're interested, Amazon has the red Tonic Studios scissors for a very reasonable price.  You can get all three pairs for about $35 right now.  That's not an affiliate link, I don't make any money from this post.  I bought all the scissors with my own money and I love them.

What's really cool about them is that they have these tiny tiny serrations that grip anything you're cutting.  You know how sometimes you try to cut something with a traditional pair of scissors and it slips out as you cut?  I hate that!  But that never happens with these scissors.

It's hard to see, but if you click on that picture above, you can see the tiny serration.  Because they're serrated, it means you can't sharpen them; however, they're made of titanium which is very hard and will stay sharp for a very long time.  I've been using mine on yarn and plastic canvas and fabric for about a year and they're still as sharp as they were when they were new. 

The three sizes I have are 9.5", 7", and 5".  The 9.5" one is perfect for big fabric jobs, like cutting excess batting and backing off of a quilt before I add a binding.  Like I said, it grips the fabric so you can be sure your cuts will be straight.  The 7" one is great for small fabric jobs, like cutting half square triangles and trimming dog ears and such, but it's also the perfect size for cutting ultra stiff plastic canvas.  The blades are a little chunky, but the handles are big so you can put more force into the cut.

The little 5" scissors are perfect for tiny sewing jobs like cutting threads off your finished piece and snipping tiny corners, but I love them for working on plastic canvas.  They cut corners super well because their blades are so small and very very sharp.

They all come with a blade cover, but this is the only pair I kept the cover for because they're needle sharp.  I also bought a little connector chain so I don't lose the cover.  It was $5 at the quilt shop I  bought these scissors from, but you could just as easily make it if you have any jewelry making experience. 

Some serious words of warning here: these scissors can do some serious damage.  Because they grip so well, if you get your finger in there, it will cut you!  Normal smooth scissors will pinch you or maybe break the skin a little, but these things are like little saws and will seriously hurt you bad, so be super careful.  That also applies to any projects you're working on.  With normal scissors, if you get extra fabric into the blades, say a fold in the fabric that you didn't see and part of the project you don't want to cut, you'll probably get some resistance that will clue you into the fact that you're cutting the wrong thing.  Not with these.  Shoom!  It just cuts right through everything.  I very recently cut through too much fabric and ruined a perfectly good quilt back.  I had to do some clever patchwork to fix the piece :( 

The only other complaint I have about these scissors is that, for whatever reason, they don't cut soft floppy materials very well.  I have to have another pair of scissors handy when I'm stitching plastic canvas because they don't cut yarn very well?  It's very strange.  But that's life.  Nothing is every perfect in every way! 

That's all for today, everyone.  I hope you're having a lovely week so far! 

Friday, February 9, 2018

Free Friday: Lovely Heart Bookmark

Happy Friday, everyone?  How has your February been so far?  Mine hasn't been too great.  I had a pretty awful week this week... for no particular reason exactly.  I guess I was just feeling sorry for myself and got myself into a pretty deep funk of a mood, but last night I decided that I can't keep doing that to myself all winter.  I need to take care of myself, keep working toward my goals, and try to enjoy every day as it comes.  There's many things to be grateful for in this life and it's a terrible shame to ignore your blessings.  So what are you grateful for today? 

I have one more Valentine's pattern to share this week!  It's a sweet little bookmark that is easy to whip up and would make such a pretty present for a sweet heart, especially tucked into a good book!

Lovely Heart Bookmark

Skill Level:



5 ½ x 1 ¾


  • 7-count plastic canvas
  • Red Heart yarn in colors listed in key
  • #16 plastic canvas needle


  1. Cut and stitch plastic canvas according to graphs.
  2. Overcast edges with Medium Purple yarn.

Click the image above to see it larger.  You may share this pattern however you please as long as you don't alter it or claim it as your own.  Please link back if you share this pattern.  You may sell items made from this pattern.  However, you may not sell this pattern.

Try to stay positive guys!  We'll get through winter yet, and soon it'll be lovely spring :)  Have a great weekend!

Friday, February 2, 2018

Free Friday: Valentine's Coaster

Happy Friday, everyone!  It's groundhog's day today.  Despite the fact that I lived in Pennsylvania for  20 years before moving to NY to be with my hubs, I have never gone to Punxsatawney to see old Phil.  I keep thinking it would be fun, but then I remember that it's February and who want to stand outside in 10 degree weather to see a stupid groundhog?  I'd rather be at home where it's warm, and maybe one of the cats can pretend to be a groundhog.  They're about the same size anyway.

Today's pattern is simple but sweet and just in time to help you decorate your home for Valentine's day! 

Valentine's Coaster

Skill Level:



3 ¾ x 3 ¾ inches


  • 7-count plastic canvas
  • Red Heart yarn in colors listed in key
  • Craft felt
  • Hot glue
  • #16 plastic canvas needle


  1. Cut and stitch plastic canvas according to graphs.
  2. Overcast outside edges with Perfect Pink.
  3. Using coaster as a template, cut out squares of felt for backing. Trim 1/8 of an inch off around all sides. Use hot glue to attach to back of coaster.

Click the image above to see it larger.  You may share this pattern however you please as long as you don't alter it or claim it as your own.  Please link back if you share this pattern.  You may sell items made from this pattern.  However, you may not sell this pattern.

I hope you all have a wonderful weekend!  I don't know if the groundhog saw his shadow or not, but I hope spring comes early for all of us!

Tuesday, January 30, 2018

Tuesday Tip: Wrangling Sewing Machine Cords

Happy Tuesday, everyone!  Boy, it's so pretty out today here.  A soft snow fell last night, covering up the yucky muddy yard, and the sun is shining so nicely.  The sky is blue and lovely with just a few puffy clouds floating in the sky.  If it wasn't also 15 degrees, I'd really love being outside!  This is why I swear I'm going to have a sun room in my next house.  I want to at least be able to pretend I'm outside in the winter.

Well, it's Tuesday again, and I'm here with another cool trick for you all!  Today's trick is a sewing trick, and I'll admit it's not going to be something everyone will need to know, but I hope it can help someone.

As you may already know, I have a very large sewing machine family. 

So from top left, clock-wise: 1953 Singer 301, 1949 Singer 15-91, 1954 Singer 301A, Pfaff Ambition Essential, Brother PQ1500S.  I love every single one of them! 

I can't exactly explain why I have such a big family.  I mean yes, I can give explanations but they're really just excuses.  The truth is that I love sewing machines!  I literally look at vintage sewing machines on Ebay for fun, no joke.  I'm actually considering buying a couple more for my collection.  I may have a problem. 

I don't just collect them for fun, though.  I actually use my sewing machines, believe it or not.  Well, the Singer 301 is living over at my mom's house, so actually she uses that one, but I use the other four.  I just love to sew!  Plastic canvas designing is something I love doing as a job, but sewing is a passion of my heart.  You can tell the state of my heart by asking how long it's been since I've last sewn anything.  If it's been a while, I'm probably in a good funk. 

So as the owner and user of so many sewing machines, and also the owner of a rather small crafting area, I have to think about my use of space wisely.  I dream about having a huge crafting room someday, that's bright and cheery, with big long counters and built in cabinets and shelves, where every sewing machine has its own designated space so I can just go and work at it whenever I feel like it.  But for now, I work with what I have.

And what I have is kind of small.  Now admittedly, it's probably more than most people have, but it's smaller than my ambitions (which, as I just said, is a huge crafting room with lots of shelves and counters and such).  What I have is a tiny 8x10 crafting room and a couple spare corners to put my sewing tables.  Here's what my more frequently used sewing table looks like.

Ok, so it's more of a wall than it is a corner.  Here it is without the chair blocking the view.

And here's another view.

The cool white cabinet is relatively new.  I bought it last winter to house my modern machines.  It's got a hydraulic lift in it, so I can lift the sewing machine all the way up to be sitting on top of the table, push it down a little so the bed of the machine is level with the table top (like it is in the pictures), or push it all the way inside the cabinet and fold the two side pieces in on top so it looks just like a desk.  The current set up is perfect for quilting, because the long table surface gives me lots of space to move pieces around. 

However, sometimes I need to change up my machines and use the Pfaff instead of the Brother.  The Brother is great, but it's a straight stitch machine, which means it only does straight stitches.  If I'm working on clothing or something that needs anything other than a straight stitch, I need to switch them out.  That's where my tip finally comes it!

I have a power outlet right behind my sewing machine cabinet, and it's fairly close to the wall so I can still open the closet doors on either side of it.  So reaching down to grab the cords every time I switch machines would be a horrible pain in my butt.  I used to do that, actually.  Or rather, I would try to hold onto the cords or put something heavy on them, but they would always fall down behind and I'd have to reach down.  Ugh!  I wanted to pull out my hair.  So when I did my yearly reorganizing, I decided to tackle this problem.

It turned out to be really cheap and easy to fix, too!  First of all, it helps to know that modern sewing machines have a standard power cord.  You should be able to use any cord with any machine, as long as they're both fairly new.  However, you will most likely need to use separate foot pedals.  I tried to use just one foot pedal for my two machines, and I thought it should be ok because they use the same plug and everything, but it just didn't work. 

So knowing these things, I set up a simple system.  I have one power cord plugged into the outlet, and I have both foot pedals under the cabinet.  When I switch machines, I move one foot pedal out of the way and replace it with the other one, and then I plug the same power cord into the new machine.  And here's the trick to making it all so much easier!

Stupidly simple.  I bought a large cup hook at Walmart for about $1 and screwed it into the wall right next to the machine.  Then I took three hair ties and attached them to each cord.  I'm not exactly sure what you'd call that, but the best I can think of is a slip knot.  It stays on the cord securely, but I can take it off whenever I want. 

When I need to switch machines, I unplug both cords and hang them on the hook so I don't lose them.  Then I move the machines around and plug everything back in!  Super easy and no reaching down the back of the sewing machine cabinet!  Yay!

So that's my tip for the week, and you got a good ramble about sewing machines as a bonus!  I guess I'm in a really sewing kind of mood lately, so you'll probably be hearing more about them in the future.  Do you guys have any good tips for organizing your sewing room or your sewing machines?  I'd love to hear them! 

Friday, January 26, 2018

Free Friday: Heart Box

Happy Friday, everyone!  Well, we're one week closer to spring, which at least is progress, right?  I'm just starting to feel a little cabin fever, so I need to keep myself positive and stay busy.  I think I might also be getting that nasty cold my hubby had :( it's been making the rounds through my entire family, and even sent my dad to the hospital.  I had some medicinal tea this morning and I plan on taking it pretty easy today so maybe I can fight it off before it takes hold. 

This week's free pattern is another lovely Valentine's day design!  It's an adorable little box that you can put treats or gifts in for your loved ones.  It's just the right size for a piece of jewelry or some good chocolate.  Also, it's just cute and would look good as a decoration!

Heart Box

Skill level:



2 ½ x 2 ½ x 2 inches


  • 7-count plastic canvas
  • Red Heart yarn in colors listed in key
  • #16 plastic canvas needle


  1. Cut and stitch plastic canvas according to graphs.
  2. Whipstitch lid top and sides together, using Boysenberry to attach lid sides and top, and Perfect Pink to attach lid sides together. Overcast unfinished edge with Boysenberry.
  3. For box, whipstitch sides and bottom together with Boysenberry. Overcast unfinished top edge with Boysenberry.

Click the image above to see it larger.  You may share this pattern however you please as long as you don't alter it or claim it as your own.  Please link back if you share this pattern.  You may sell items made from this pattern.  However, you may not sell this pattern.

Well, I'd better go find a comfy spot sit and try to get better.  Have a great weekend everyone!

Wednesday, January 24, 2018

What's Up Wednesday

Happy Wednesday, everyone!  Oy, another laundry day for me!  I guess I shouldn't gripe too much; at least it's only two people in my house so it only takes me half a day to do the laundry.  I can't imagine what you poor ladies with multiple kids go through!  Oh goodness, I just thought of my poor grandma.  She had 12 kids (yes 12!) and lived on a farm and probably didn't have a modern washing machine until most of her kids were grown up.  Can you imagine washing 14 people's clothes with a ringer washer?  Ugh!

So with that, I'll stop griping and start writing about my week!  After two weeks of total chaos, between my sister having an emergency C-section and my husband getting extremely sick, I'm so ready to get back to normal life.  I want 2018 to be an amazing year, so I've been doing a lot of journaling and reading motivating books, and I set some goals for myself.  My goals are:

  • Make one new pattern to sell every two weeks
  • Write in my blog at least twice a week
  • Find new blogs I love and meet people who have similar interests
  • STOP READING SO MUCH NEWS because it's bad for me
I've been doing really well so far this week.  I realize it's only Wednesday, but I feel like I'm really on track!  I got one blog post written, and here I am writing another.  I posted my Swedish Hearts Coasters on my Etsy shop on Monday, and I have another pattern in the works already.  I haven't started looking for new blogs to read yet, but I have a couple in mind to check out.  AND I haven't read any news all week!  That's pretty big, considering I used to be a huge news consumer.  I don't know why because all it did was make me angry.  Maybe I liked being angry? 

Along with working on my design business and my blog, I decided I needed to start sewing more frequently.  I love to sew, after all, so why do I do it so infrequently?  It's not like I don't have the time for it.  I'm a stay at home wife/designer, so I can do a little sewing between projects or while dinner cooks. 

I decided to start a new quilt to get me off on the right foot.  I bought three Moda scrap bags last fall, which I just love!  They're selvages with about 3 inches of fabric.  So essentially, they're extremely cheap jelly rolls and as a bonus, they have lots of selvages too if you like making selvage quilts (which I do).  I cut as many of the pieces into 2 1/2 strips as I could and decided to try making a strip tube quilt.  My MIL bought a cool ruler and book that explains how to do it, but it's basically this: you sew a bunch a strips together, then sew those into a tube.  Then you use the nifty ruler to cut it into triangles, and when you open it up, it's a neat square.  Then you sew those together to make neat blocks.  I discovered, though, that I already had a half square triangle ruler!

This one is really nice too because it has built in grippy bits and lots of extra lines to help you with your HST blocks.  

I decided to do a really simple version of the quilt.  Here's what the blocks look like.

All together, my three bags of scraps made 20 blocks, so it'll be a 40x50 inch quilt when I'm done.  I like using quilts as table cloths, and I think this one will be just perfect for our table.

I have just a small pile of blocks to make yet, and then I can start piecing the blocks together!

I decided this was the perfect project to help me get to know my lovely vintage Singer 301A better.  She's such a fun machine!

She sews like a dream.  I bought her on for about $60!  She was pretty dirty and needed a thorough oiling and greasing.  I still have a little work to do before she's up to tip top shape, but even still, she's working like a dream.  Her stitches are so smooth and even, and at full speed, this machine can do 1600 stitches a minute.  By the way, that's on par with my Brother PQ1500S, which cost me $650

I still prefer the brother for large pieces because it's got a deep throat, but the 301A is nice for piecing.  Plus I found out it's great for dragging around the house!  Its only 16 pounds despite being entirely made of metal, and it has a cool handle.  I had to sew downstairs a lot last week because my husband worked from home while he was sick, and I didn't want to annoy him with my sewing. 

Another cool thing about my little Singer is that, unlike older machines and even a lot of modern machines, it has a 1/4 inch marking built right into the cover plate.

I like using the marking on the machine much better than a 1/4 inch foot, but that's just a personal preference.  I guess I feel like it's easier to see, and also, the line is much longer than a foot would be, so you can keep the piece of fabric on the line a lot further and not swerve off track at the beginning or end of fabric.

I guess that's all for sewing talk today.  The other thing I have to report on this week is that my Aerogarden is starting to really produce a lot of lettuce!

Here's what I harvested yesterday.  I harvested it on Friday, and then by Tuesday it needed to be harvested again, so this is what it grew in just FOUR days!

Yay salad!

Alright everyone, I'd better go work on my laundry some more.  I hope you're all having a great week so far!

Tuesday, January 23, 2018

Tuesday Tip: Yarn Storage Update

Happy Tuesday, everyone!  Are you having a good week so far?  I'm trying to get back into a normal routine and a more sane schedule, which is really hard after the chaos of Christmas and then having both me and my hubby being sick! 

As part of getting back into a normal routine, I decided that I need to start posting more Tuesday tips, because I have a lot of them I want to share!  And hopefully they'll be useful to someone out there. 

In the week before Christmas, I had a burning desire to get my crafting space into better order.  I get that way every year, usually in the depth of winter, but I guess it came early for me this year.  I just want to sort through and pare down and make my space more efficient and pleasant to be in.  Since I spend a very large chunk of my time crafting every day, I need it to be easy to access and I also want it to look orderly and cheery.  For whatever reason, if my space is messy, I have a hard time actually working on my projects.  Is that just me or is that a woman thing? 

So one of the biggest things I did in my pre-Christmas organizing spree was to move my yarn stash out of my closet and into my crafting room so it's easier to access.  After all, I need to get to my yarn on a pretty frequent basis.  In case you're new to the blog, here's how my yarn stash looked before.

It was sorted by color and stored in milk crates, then stacked right inside a very large storage closet in my computer room.  It was out of the way there, but also kind of a pain to get to.  If I wanted a color that was in a lower crate, I had to take all the other crates off first.  And if I needed something from the back of the closet, I had to move a whole stack out of the way and squeeze my big butt through.  It was annoying, to say the least!

I'm not one of those people that dreads organizing.  In fact, I really love organizing.  It might be because I'm a Virgo and Virgos are supposed to be very well organized and tidy.  It might also be because I'm mildly OCD!  But whatever the case, I love sorting and ordering and thinking about how things could be more efficient.  I have two problems with organizing, though.  The first is finding the time to actually get around to doing it, because it usually takes several days at the very least, and I'm the type that dumps everything in the middle of the floor in the beginning of the project, so I have to do it at a time when I'll be ok living with a huge mess for three plus days. 

My second problem is that I have a tendency to want to buy my way to better order.  I grew up poor, so I don't know where this comes from, but for some reason I feel like I need fancy organizing apparatuses in order to be truly put together.  For this project, I spent probably a week looking at possible things I could buy to organizing my yarn.  I went back and forth between buying a new book shelf and buying a cube shelf and baskets.  However, I really want to cut down on my consumerism and the false belief that new things will solve my problems, so I decided to challenge myself to use what I already had on hand and buying as little as possible for this project. 

It ended up being a fun challenge, actually.  What I discovered was that I already have a bookshelf that's the perfect size to hold all of my milk crates!  The book shelf is in my studio already, so it would be easy to access it.  I could pull out a crate, grab the yarn I want, and stick it back.  Easy!

I'm sorry to say I didn't get many pictures of the process, but it was basically a big pile of crap in the middle of my tiny studio floor.  I decided to reorder all of my shelves in my studio, get rid of as much as I could, so that I could clear off my old bookshelf.  Here's what it looked like before.

It used to hold my crafting books, my scrap fabric, my journals and notebooks, and on top is my collection of 90s cooking and crafting magazines.  I took everything off and sorted through it.  I ended up getting rid of about half the books in the process, but I kept everything else.  It got new homes in spots where I purged other things I don't need (like lots of scrapbooking supplies I don't use anymore).  Here's what the bookcase looks like now.

Now I'm going to be the first to admit that this is pretty ugly.  The bookcase is old and the shelves are sagging, and the crates are not very aesthetically pleasing in the least.  However, it's way more useful and that's a huge bonus!  I plan on covering the crates in the near future to make it look nicer and to also protect the yarn from dust and sunlight. 

There's a cool tutorial over at Sew Many Ways that I plan on using to help me cover my crates when I get that far.  I'll be sure to take lots of pictures! 

For anyone interested, this bookshelf is a super cheap Walmart creation.  It was gifted to us as a housewarming present 11 (!) years ago, but I looked, you can still find them for between $25 and $50.  The top two crates are cheapy Sterilite crates I got for $3 a piece, but the rest are authentic milk crates which I like a lot better because they're a lot sturdier and also they're a standard size.  You can buy those in Home Depot right now for about $7 a piece.

Well, that's all for today, everyone.  I hope you're all having a great Tuesday!  Happy crafting!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Swedish Heart Coasters

Happy Monday, everyone!  I hope you all had an excellent weekend and are ready to tackle this bright new week!  I know I sure am.  I have a brand new pattern up in my Etsy shop today, just in time for Valentine's day!
Swedish Heart Coasters Pattern, $4 on Etsy

These little cuties are really easy and fast to make, and would make an adorable gift for any of your sweeties this Valentine's day!

Ok everyone, I have lots of chores I need to get to today.  Have a lovely week!